The book I have chosen is “The House of the Scorpion” written by Mancy Farmer. Mancy Farmer is an American author. She is now 79 years old, born in Phoenix in 1941. She grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border in the landscape she brings to mind so heavily in this novel. She then began her writing career when she was just 41 years old. She attended Reed College in Oregon earing her BA. In 1963-1965 she joined the Peace Corps and went travel to India, after perusing that for three years she returned home and went on to selling newspapers in the streets. One day she decided to take a spontaneous trip of Africa. She said ‘’ It was dead easy to sell things in Africa. They were desperate, so I was spoiled rotten. I could write anything, and they would publish it, pay me immediately, and give me royalties.’’ She tends to write for children novels, Adult novels and science fiction. She is an award-winning novelist and writes a novel about her passion for African culture. She has once said that in her seventeen years of living in Africa she has learned and gained a lot of knowledge that has helped her throughout her writing career. She has written three Newbery Honor Books and won the U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature for The House of the Scorpion. Mancy Farmer is now living in Menlo Park, California with her spouse Harrold farmer and has a son Daniel Farmer.
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The novel ‘’The House of the Scorpion’’ is taken place in the future where the ending does not look so bright. In the novel they talk about having hover crafts and creating/ having clones, which are not out of the ordinary for the people. The novel is taken place in a country called Opium, a country which is overpowered by a drug kingpin. Opium faces problems with segregation between Mexico and the United States. ‘’The MacGregors ruled the land near San Diego, and the Alacráns had a vast empire stretching from central California across Arizona and into New Mexico.’’ ‘’Gradually, Opium changed from a no-man's-land to a real country. And its supreme leader, dictator, and fuhrer was Matteo Alacrán. ‘’ (17.22-23). The main place the novel is in is ‘’The big house’’ AKA. El Patrons house. The house has been said to be filled with huge rooms and one music room, this house is to be under the category as a mansion, this mansion has been giving many secret tunnels that are hidden from everyone. Another major place in the novel is the barn. This barn is right outside of ‘’the big house’’ where Matt is put after El Patron discovered he was a clone. Another major key location is Celia’s cottage where they have been said to have a poppy field of opium. When Matt finally gets the chance to leave Opium, he crosses the border into Aztlán, formerly known as Mexico. Aztlán, we come to know as a communist state. They describe Aztlán as not a blissful place. Its bleak, with industrial scenes, they make it seem and feel like more of a prison camp where people struggle to get by. In Aztlán it is dry, desolate, and dying. The point of view that the author puts the story in is of a young child named Matt and his daily life that brings challenges and experiences that he may face, when reading the book you tend to get the feelings that Matt endures which is a lot of anxiety and stress always worrying about everything.
The first character we get to learn about is Matt, Matt is the protagonist of the whole novel. His favorite thing is getting the chance to go out and learn new things. Matt faces a lot of self-conflict with him being a clone he tends to get jealous very easily and has an urge to be a king loving person to everyone trying to point out the bad in El Patron and know not to do that but the opposite. Matt was made by El Patron so he can use him as an organ transplant. ‘’He threw himself into studying everything that came before him. Matt could name the planets, the brightest stars, and all the constellations. He memorized the names of countries, their capitals and chief exports. He was in a rage to learn. He would excel, and then everyone would love him and forget he was a clone.’’ ( ). The second character we get introduced in the novel is El Patron, he is the leader of the Opium country, he creates a clone named Matt because he is getting very old and hopes that if he makes Matt that he can use his organs for himself. In the country everyone fears him and tries to avoid him at all cost. The only person he shows a soft side to is his clone Matt but he does it so he can see his ‘other half’ enjoy the life and good things that he wasn’t able to experience. El Patron obsesses over complete power for Opium that he will go to great lengths to make sure he is the leader and the known leader even after his death, if he goes down so does everyone else. “I’ll tell you this: El Patron has his good side and his bad side. When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other. He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.” ( ) . The third character in the novel is Celia, Celia is the person who looks over and takes care of Matt, she also cooks for El Patron. Celia is very religious and treats Matt as her own son. She is the one who brings Matt his knowledge in life and where he learns most everything especially to be kind to others and will do anything for him no matter the cost or even if that means having to break a few rules to get Matt where she believes he should be and live his best life. ‘’Are there any others like me?” he asked.“No. You’re the only one,” Celia said. The only one! He was unique. He was special. Matt’s heart swelled with pride. If he wasn’t human, he might become something even better.’’ ( ) . The fourth character in the novel is Tan Lin, Tan Lin is bodyguards for bath Matt and El Patron, he shows a hard demeanor but towards Matt he lets his soft side come out a little bit. He was not giving the best education but has common sense, he tells Matt that he too should choose to be a better person then El Patron. He lived a very rough passed having his job and killing young innocent children which he tries to forget about by talking to Celia for her religious help. ‘’ “I’ll tell you this: El Patron has his good side and his bad side. When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other. He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted.”
- The novel ‘’The House of the Scorpion’’
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